RBI( file) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will shortly invite fresh applications to grant new licenses in three categories such as small banks, payment and universal banks to fulfil the objective of the government for achieving financial closure.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance is finalizing a cabinet note for financial restructuring of its banking and financial sector as also to broad base the debt market to enable corporates access liquidity on long term basis exceeding 25 years so that the burden of interests on them is eased out, said Shri G S Sandhu, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.

Addressing the Managing Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Shri Sandhu informed that preparations were afoot at the right quarters to invite fresh applications for opening up of banks in the identified categories, mentioned above in which the first priority of the government would be for smaller banks as these be able to tap the populace in the country side.

The applications would thereafter be entertained for payment banks and at last the universal banking, pointed out Shri Sandhu adding that the Ministry of Finance would also soon move a cabinet note to take approval of the government for its financial and banking sector restructuring so that liquidity extension is maximized to enable investors finance and build the domestic infrastructure sector.

The cabinet note would also incorporate provisions and stipulations so that the relevant stakeholders are granted permissions to pool gas and coal with stable price regime in place, said Shri Sandhu.

Former Deputy Governor, RBI and Director, Research Brookings Institute, Shri Subir Gokarn who also spoke on the occasion said that though US has begun to pickup growth, the economies in Europe were still sluggish, adding that picking up growth in US augured well for Indian exports.

He also painted a better picture of domestic economy saying that with following crude oil prices, the inflationary pressures would further be contained.